Derry Foyle Pride Festival has been hailed as a “tremendous” boost to the city’s cultural calender.
Speaking after several thousand revellers turned out to support the annual Pride parade in the city on Saturday, SDLP Equality spokesperson, Colum Eastwood, said the festival was a valued addition to Derry’s events schedule.
“The growing success and size of Foyle Pride adds tremendous richness to Derry’s cultural calendar,” he said.
Mr Eastwood added: “Not only is it a source of enjoyment and expression for our local LGBT community, it is valued and participated in by the city as a whole. There was a time when the stain of homophobia was imprinted on the image of this city. It is my firm hope that those days are over. Several thousand people took part in this year’s Foyle Pride Parade in Derry city centre. Saturday’s parade - the showpiece of the four day festival - left Waterside Railway Station at 2pm and weaved its way across the Craigavon Bridge to Carlisle Road, around the Diamond and down to the Guildhall Square. Many hundreds of people lined the route, cheering, waving rainbow flags and blowing whistles to show their support. A small group of Christian protesters also turned out to watch the parade. Speaking at the parade, Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson said its success sent a “empowering message to those struggling with their own sexual orientation”.